The German government has amended the German Road Traffic Admission Regulation (StVZO), effective June 1, 2008, to ban all non-approved metal bull bars. Thus, Germany is bringing its laws into compliance with the European Union regulations (Directive 2005/66/EC), which mandates that only those products which can pass extensive pedestrian-protection tests are allowed. All 27 members of the European Union are required to implement these restrictions, though Germany, the largest market in Europe, has until this point not done so.
The legislation was enacted back in 2005 amidst a European-wide political movement in response to rising road fatalities. Carmakers, hoping to head off this momentum, agreed to a voluntary ban on bullbars, but, in the end, were unable to fend off the government imposition of government-mandated tests. These extensive tests, designed to evaluate pedestrian injuries in the event of an accident, are binding on both original equipment manufacturers as well as the aftermarket bull bar manufacturers. Very few bull bar manufacturers are able to produce Directive-compliant products. The German government has not yet announced how it will handle existing approvals and certificates awarded prior to June 1, 2008.
For a copy of the regulation or for additional information, SEMA members are invited to contact Linda Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org.